IT’S FRIDAY.

It’s a three day weekend, so I’ve got some pretty big plans.

It’s gonna be a good one. But enough of that, it’s time for some Friday Favorites.

Shake It Off

I’m STILL in love with this. And willing to bet it’ll be a good 6-8 weeks until I’m over it.

THIS post from The Daily Tay - What Do You Do When Your Blog Traffic Takes A Dip?

I made the mistake of reading this while I was at work. Cue me spewing coffee all over my keyboard. Taylor is HILARIOUS and makes me laugh every single time. (Photo cred – The Daily Tay)

The amount of date nights I have planned for next week.

GUYS. I’m feeling pretty popular.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

This was my plane read for the trip back from Boston. I shouldn’t have picked such a good book, because I was so enthralled that I zipped through it in about four hours. Jennifer McMahon is one of my favorite authors EVER. I’ve read every single one of her books and I just can’t get enough. If you love wonderfully creepy read that chills you to the bone, you’ll love Jennifer McMahon.

Martin House Brew Stock 15k Challenge

My good running buddy Karen is a whiz at talking me into last minute races, so yesterday I signed up for the Martin House 15k challenge tomorrow morning. A 5k followed up by a 10k.

I’m still sporting the vacation 5 pounds (thanks Boston) so I won’t really be racing, but it should be a good run and a good start to the three day weekend.

And that’s it folks. Cheers to three days of no work and all play!

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Brooke & Jane

    Ill have to try that book for my upcoming flight! Love your favorites as usual. And great taste with the T-Swift.

    http://lifeofbrookeandjane.blogspot.com/2014/08/friday-favorites-well-hello-fall.htmlReplyCancel

  • Mallory

    Thanks for the author recommendation. I’ve been wanting to branch out in my reads. Also, I was the winner or the Lisa Leonard cake topper and gift card. I just wanted to let you know I finally decided on what to use my gift card on, the love struck arrow necklace. I received it in the mail yesterday, and I absolutely love it! Thank you again!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Oh you’ll LOVE her books, they are SO good! And I’m so glad you love the necklace! I’m jealous, I love that one too!ReplyCancel

I love my husband. Really I do. He’s cute, he kills bugs, and he can reach all the stuff on the top shelf.

HE’S TALL AND EFFICIENT WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?!

But I would be lying if I said my heart didn’t skip a teeny tiny beat when given a night to myself. Because in the past four months of marriage, I’ve realized having all 861 square feet to myself for a few hours is something to cherish. So tonight I want to chit chat about the things you do when your husband is gone for the night. Here’s how I chose to spend my few sweet hours of freedom.

It started with happy hour. A very happy hour with this girl.

Another thing to be celebrated? FRIED AVOCADO.

I chose to celebrate with $3 tequila shots.

I DON’T KNOW HOW IT HAPPENED. The waiter talked me into it. Because I’m in capable of saying “no.” And because tequila goes really good with fried avocado. WHATEVER Y’ALL JUST SHUT IT.

After the 5:45pm tequila shots, I was ready for part 2 of my “whatever the hell I want” evening. And next up was  the PS I Love You Sob Fest Marathon.

Yes, I did see Million Dollar Baby. And yes, I did see Freedom Writers. And yes, they were both fantastic. I don’t care. PS I Love You is still my favorite Hilary Swank movie.

Remember when they fought, made up, almost had sex and then fell asleep? THAT’S A REAL MARRIAGE PEOPLE.

I love this movie, and because I actually have a soul, I can’t watch even the first 60 seconds without bursting into totally appropriate and completely explainable tears. For that reason, I save it for special occasions. AKA nights my husband isn’t here and won’t mistakenly interpret my sobbing as deep seated emotional issues and have me committed.

OH MY GOD EVEN THIS PICTURE MAKES ME CRY.

And lastly, after I’m good and cried out, I like to catch up on current events. But only the really important ones.

Raise your hand if you don’t actually care that Brangelina is finally married after nine years and 47 children together.

For the record, my hand is raised.

And so is my wine glass.

See you tomorrow morning for this week’s Friday Favorites!

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • I WANT TO EAT FRIED AVOCADOS AND TAKE $3 TEQUILA SHOTS WITH YOU. Where do those magical things happen?! Also, I have a confession….I’ve never seen PS I Love You….ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Well that’s not okay with me. Haha this was at On The Border! AKA the site of our last date where all the good things happen.ReplyCancel

  • I feel like I want to cry just reading the words PS. I Love You. It’s like masochism. Why do we do this to ourselves????
    Additionally, *hand raised*.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      YES YES TOTALLY AGREE. And yeah. I mean, who gives?ReplyCancel

MORE Boston?!?!! What can I say? It’s a big city.

(We really are nearing the end, though. I promise. And if you’ve missed part 1 and part 2, I’m genuinely disappointed in you. How is it possible that you have anything better to do than scroll through dozens of vacation Iphone photos? It just can’t be.)

Saturday morning we slept in-ish and celebrated by starting the day off with Dunkin’. More Dunkin’. Can there ever really be enough?

Then we hopped on the subway and headed over to Fenway!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I need to start choosing uglier friends. That’s your poem for the day. Mmm, yep, you’re welcome.

I’m not one of those people that’s like, “OMG FENWAY BASEBALL BASEBALL!” but it was pretty cool. It had that really charming, historic feel that is just so Boston.

We went a little before noon, and there was a game that day at 1:30, so we got to experience the buzz of a game day without actually going to a game. Plus the whole place smelled like hot dogs and you know how I feel about mixed meat parts in wiener form – REALLY GOOD.

Right around the corner from Fenway was the Boston Arts Academy High School. My brother graduated from Booker T. Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, so this made me think of him.

After Fenway, we stopped for a quick lunch, and then followed it up with more Emack & Bolio’s.

I’m seriously in love. This time I ordered the salted caramel and chocolate covered pretzel. It was so good I almost cried.

Uma Thurman and I are clearly in agreement on the important things in life.

After ice cream, Allison and I planned made our way over to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, aka MFA. The walk over to the MFA was adorable. Actually scratch that, the entire city is adorable, so it’s really no longer worth mentioning. It’s implied.

Finally, we arrived. At the MOST gorgeous and elaborate art museum I’ve ever seen in my life.

When we got there we also realized the Magna Carta was currently on display. We thought that would be pretty cool, but lezbehonest. It was just a really old piece of paper. No fuzzy feelings. Sorry England. 

We wandered around for a really long time, and I snapped pictures of a ton of stuff, but if you wanted to see pictures of paintings, you’d probably just google that shit. So I’ve elected not to overload you, and I’m just sharing a couple of my faves. Like this Renoir.

And this green hallway. Not art, but pretty.

After a couple of hours, we made our way to the contemporary art. Where all the fun was.

And this, my favorite of the entire day.

All in all, the MFA was super cool. I’m no art buff, but I really really enjoyed it. Art is cool. History is cool. Go Boston.

But art makes us hungry and thirsty and also tired, so we made a pit stop back at Boston Common because when it’s 70 degrees outside it’s downright stupid not to hang out on the grassy shade.

For those of you who are wondering, NO. I didn’t do my hair during this trip until the very last night. For dinner. Cause ain’t nobody got time for that.

Say hi to Allison. And her red lips. And her bacon maple pecan scone, my personal favorite.

Afterwards, we headed back to the house to get dolled up for dinner. In all black. Cause we’re classy like that.

We headed back out just as the sun was going down and got the greatest views of Beacon Hill and the State House at dusk.

Earlier in the day, we’d decided we wanted to hit up a super yummy restaurant near Boston Common for our last dinner. We’d read some impressive reviews for The Paramount, so we figured it would make a good choice.

It was teeny tiny, and really adorable inside. The black bean burger sounded good to me, and it did NOT disappoint. It was delicious and any restaurant that serves sweet potato fries has my vote.

I also ordered a glass of their peach sangria cause #YOLO and calories don’t count on vacay.

After dinner, we took one last stroll through the Common cause the fountain was gorgeous and practically begging us to come toss pennies for wishes.

Sunday morning, we both had pretty early flights, so we were headed to the airport by 5am and caught a pretty perfect Boston-worthy sunrise.

Just one last picture taken by a stranger. Matching sleepy eyes and whale watching tanks for the win.

We said our goodbyes, and she headed back to Oregon and I headed to Dunkin’. It just felt like the most appropriate way to say goodbye.

You were good to us Boston. But it’s sorta true what they say, there really is no place like home.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Emily Nutt

    That Renior painting is the one Lorelei posed as in the living art episode, yes?! Too cool! So so glad you guys had a BLAST!ReplyCancel

  • ^^ That Renoir will always just be Lorelei to me. Ha! This all looked amazing.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Me tooo! That’s why I was so excited. HahahaReplyCancel

  • Ahh it looks like you guys had a great time in Boston:) My best friend went to school at Northeastern and her last two years she lived in a 16 story all glass residence hall (what the hell? I know) that literally looked into the MFA. Let’s just say I visited her A LOT!!ReplyCancel

  • Looks like such a fun trip! I love Boston- it sounds like you really got to do it all while you were there!ReplyCancel

  • […] still sporting the vacation 5 pounds (thanks Boston) so I won’t really be racing, but it should be a good run and a good start to the three day […]ReplyCancel

Today we are talking about MORE BOSTON! If you missed yesterday’s post, you can find it HERE. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s move on to Friday. Otherwise known as whale watching day!

Truth be told, the whale watching was really the main reason for the trip to Boston. Allison is OBSESSED with whales. Back in March before the wedding, I gave Allison her big maid of honor/photographer/best friend thank you gift – tickets for a whale watching trip in Gloucester and a plane ticket to Boston! Every year we do what we call a “BFF trip” and so this year I just took the liberty of choosing Boston. Pretty damn good choice if I do say so myself.

Anyway, all that to say – we were excited about the whales. Real excited. We woke up super groggy from being profesh tourists on Thursday, but we were both really really excited to head out to the coast. Since we were going whale watching inGloucester, we rented a car for the drive. The nearest Enterprise was about a mile and a half away from where we were staying, and a little far from the nearest subway stop too, so we figured, what the hell, we’d just walk it. And yes, we do recognize the irony of walking a half an hour to rent a car to drive an hour away.

The walk ended up being a little bit more than a mile and a half, and plus we were both carrying bags full of things for the day, so it felt like it took FOREVER. Allison was whining about her backpack hurting, so after a while she got creative with things and started carrying it like a baby.

So I laughed, and then took her picture.

After the walk, we were both STARVING, so we hit up Dunkin’ for probably 839th time. It didn’t matter. Donuts and coffee are always a good choice.

After breakfast we headed to Gloucester. When we arrived, we spent about an hour just wandering around the absolute cutest harbor in the entire world.

After a little exploring, we stopped at Captain Carlo’s for lunch.

The weather was incredible every.single.day. I don’t think we ate a single meal fully indoors. Everywhere we went we opted to sit on the patio, or sat in an open air dining area.

We’d pretty much just had Dunkin’ a couple hours earlier, so Allison ordered fish tacos for us to split. And y’all – BEST FISH TACOS I’VE EVER HAD. That means a hell of a lot, because I flipping LOVE fish tacos.

As we were eating a seagull flew over us and a feather fell down on the table. I was all, “OMG GOOD LUCK!” and Allison was all, “OMG BIRD FLU!” #perspective

Then after lunch it was time for WHALES.

When I came up with the idea for whale watching, I did a lot of research to figure out which tour we should take. There are quite a few to choose from in Gloucester, but I landed on Cape Ann Whale Watch. They were INCREDIBLE. It was so much fun and actually really educational. Their crew was so involved and hands on with all of the  passengers, especially kids. Which Allison and I appreciated, since we are basically overgrown children.

I’ve never been on anything other than a small boat for jet skiing and things like that, so we both opted to pop the motion sickness pills and didn’t really have any issues.

After a little waiting, it was time to board the Hurricane II. I personally believe it’s wildly inappropriate to name a ship after a water-based natural disaster, but it’s whatever. I put it in the suggestion box.

Before we knew it, we were headed out to sea! It was windy and freezing, and neither one of us were dressed appropriately, but damn it if we weren’t excited.

We passed the time by snacking on really healthy ship food.

After about a two hour ride out to Stellwagen Bank, we saw our FIRST WHALE! And y’all – coolest thing EVER.

WHALES WHALES WHALES!

I think we ended up seeing 4 or 5 different whales total. So freakin’ cool.

After a couple hours of whale watching, it was time to head back.

Once we make it back into the harbor and off the ship, we were both absolutely freezing, so we decided to warm up with a fancy dinner at The Gloucester House.

You kinda HAVE to do seafood when you are eating just a few feet away from the ocean. I opted for the sizzling shrimp skillet with lots of fresh shrimp, veggies, and rice.

Allison went with the lobster carbonara.

All in all, SUCH a fun second day. Check back tomorrow for part 3, our last day in Boston! (AKA – ice cream and Fenway.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some MAFS to catch up on.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Ahhhh I have been waiting to see if you went to Fenway. I want to plan a trip there just to visit that field!!ReplyCancel

  • […] really are nearing the end, though. I promise. And if you’ve missed part 1 and part 2, I’m genuinely disappointed in you. How is it possible that you have anything better to do […]ReplyCancel

I’m back! And Boston.Was.Awesome.

Now I’m going to prove it to you with three days worth of recaps and pictures. Lots and LOTS of pictures.

I recapped most of Wednesday HERE, when I was trapped at the airport for 3 hours waiting for Allison to land. Yeah, that was a blast. Anyways, once Allison landed, we hopped on the subway and headed to Cambridge where we were staying. Technically I think it was Somerville, but whatevs. It was super close to the nearest subway stop, and just a short walk to Harvard.

We found the room on Airbnb and booked it for a great price. If you haven’t heard of Airbnb, the basic concept is that you rent a room (or entire apartment, house, whatever) from a perfect stranger. It sounds crazy, but it’s totally not. It’s usually way way cheaper and more convenient. We’ve had nothing but really great experiences and we have yet to get serial murdered.

After we dumped our bags off at the apartment, we were both starving. The girl we were staying with recommended her favorite local Thai place, so we walked down to Porter Square for dinner at Sugar & Spice.

We ordered pad thai and pineapple fried rice and both were absolutely amazing.

After dinner we needed something sweet and delicious and fattening cause vacation. We googled ice cream and found out that we were right around the corner from an Emack and Bolio’s. I’d never heard of it in my life, but it was abso-freakin-lutely amazing. It took me one hundred years to decide what I wanted but I finally landed on s’moreo. Best decision ever.

I didn’t get one of these but I really wanted to. And I was also really pissed that I’ve never thought of this before. RICE KRISPIE TREAT WAFFLE CONE.

We were both exhausted from a full day of traveling so we crashed early. The next morning I somehow talked Allison into waking up at 6am and going on a run with me.

Boston was FULL of runners. You couldn’t walk ten feet without seeing someone run by. It didn’t matter what time of day, or where you were, there were runners EVERYWHERE. Loved loved loved it.

I never could get my watch to work so I have no idea how far we ran but it was a perfect way to start a full day of touristing.

After the run, we showered, got ready, and headed to breakfast. Porter Square was right around the corner from us and had a good choice of restaurants, so we stopped at Panera to fuel up with carbs and caffeine.

After breakfast, we started the walk over to Harvard. HARVARD Y’ALL.

Walking around Harvard was unreal. The campus was SO pretty and historic. We explored for a little bit and then decided to take a break in the shade up against a Harvard tree and take some selfies. Cause maturity.

We also eavesdropped on a group of kids getting a real life Harvard tour.

After Harvard we continued wandering around town and taking in all the crazy scenery and the GORGEOUS 70 degree day. 70 degrees y’all. 70 degrees. That’s approximately 32 degrees cooler than it was in Texas today. Just sayin.

A few people recommended some awesome restaurants, and Pinocchio’s pizza was one of them.

I was also told that Ben Affleck is a frequent diner, so I prayed to Jesus that morning that we would bump into him. We didn’t, and now my faith is shattered.  But damn if that pizza wasn’t delicious.

This girl ordered a salad. Sometimes I don’t even know who she is.

This was outside of the restaurant and I have no idea what it says or means but I thought it was delightfully creepy so I captured it.

After lunch, we hit up the Freedom Trail. Cause we like history. And red brick roads.

It started at the Boston Common which is basically the Central Park of Boston. SO pretty. All kinds of historic shit went down here but none of which I remember so you’re going to have to google that.

One of the stops along the Freedom Trail was the Granary Burying Ground. FIVE THOUSAND people are buried here. That’s a lot of people. One of them is John Hancock. And Ben Franklin’s parents. Lots of important people.

This Benjamin Franklin statue was another one of the sights, but it was located in the courtyard of a historic building turned Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Weird.

We explored Faneuil Hall where I picked up a few souvenirs, and when we walked over to Quincy Market there was a guy doing all kinds of crazy Houdini like stuff out front.

History makes us hungry, so we walked over to the North End to Mike’s Pastry because everyone in the entire world raved about the cannolis. So we had to see what all the fuss was about.

After spending an embarrassing amount of money on Italian pastries, we walked over to the Harbor to eat with one hell of a view.

I ordered the chocolate cream, chocolate chip, and chocolate dipped. I kinda like chocolate.

We ate and then wandered around a little more.

This is what vacation looks like when your best friend is a photographer.

After cannolis, we were in the mood for more things Italian, so we stopped for dinner at Ristorante Villa Francesca.

I ordered the penne alla norma, which was eggplant, ricotta cheese, and tomato sauce blended with spinach and penne pasta.

We wandered around the city a little bit more, and then headed back to Porter Square for a quick night cap. Bubbles are always appropriate.

We were both completely exhausted from a long day of touristy adventures, so we hit the hay hella early.

Vacation recaps are weird. Right? Are they? I don’t know. Hopefully you found this more interesting than boring. But come back tomorrow for the recap of day 2 – WHALE WATCHING!:)

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

 

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  • Yay yay yay!!!! I LOVE the recap, not weird at all. I can’t wait to see day 2. Oh and hangout soon? KgreatthanksbyeeeReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I’m trying to figure out how to give you a kissy face emoji via typing. TECHNOLOGY FAIL.ReplyCancel

  • I LOVE Boston. It’s so rich with history, pretty and CLEAN. (I’m from NYC, that’s a big selling point:). Looks like you covered a lot of good ground there. I loved touring Hah-vahd yard too.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      It IS so clean! I didn’t even think about that, but yes, everything was just GORGEOUS!ReplyCancel

  • It’s always fun to read about my city through the eye of someone visiting… makes you appreciate all the places you take for granted! Also my boyfriend has lived up the street from Mike’s Pastry for two years and we’ve never been… oops. Looking forward to parts 2 & 3 :) ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Oh girl you better get over there! It was delish. And yes, I loved every second of it, you are so lucky to call Boston home!ReplyCancel

  • Mike’s is my favorite!
    Looks like a really fun trip. I’m from NYC, but hoping to go up and visit a friend there this fall!
    -EReplyCancel

  • That looks like so much fun! I went to Boston in September a couple of years ago and the weather was gorgeous! There was just so much to see and do, I want to go back!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I absolutely LOVED it. You definitely should go back!ReplyCancel

  • […] we are talking about MORE BOSTON! If you missed yesterday’s post, you can find it HERE. Go ahead, I’ll […]ReplyCancel

  • […] really are nearing the end, though. I promise. And if you’ve missed part 1 and part 2, I’m genuinely disappointed in you. How is it possible that you have anything […]ReplyCancel

  • Y’all are adorable! This is so weird because I went to grad school in Boston many many years ago and I was just thinking I desperately want to go back- take the kids or maybe just the hubs and show him all my ol’ favorite places. Then I click on your blog and it’s Boston! Love love love it there!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Hey Melanie, your blog is one of my faves! We LOVED every minute of Boston. It was just incredible, and it would be such a fun place for your sweet family to visit!ReplyCancel